tv CNN Newsroom CNN December 10, 2012 6:00am-8:00am PST
living with us because of the devastation in there. i thought that was a moving story. more members of congress need to come up and see just what happened here in the quad state region and really get a sense of what really took place because it was really devastating. people are still grappling with day to day life. >> and the pictures don't ever really reflect how bad it is, i think. >> it was important to me when i was growing up. >> tomorrow on "starting point," we'll talk to director ed burns, actor frankie muniz, congressman steve israel, jeff sessions, javier palimares, the president and ceo of united states chamber of commerce, and chicago mayor rahm emanuel as well. cnn news room with ted roland begins now. >> stories we're watching now in the cnn newsroom. off the air and under siege. i think about their family and what they must be going through and the thought we may have played a part in that is
gut wrenching. >> for the first time, we're hearing from two radio deejays blamed for the nurse's suicide after that royal prank phone call. plus this. ♪ a plane crash cut short the life of popular mexican-american singer jenni rivera. now investigators look into what brought down that plane that killed everyone on board. south korean rapper psy receives a warm welcome in washington despite his past anti-american comments, and president obama getting some flack for attending that performance. plus the bizarre saga continues. american tech mogul john mcafee fighting deportation to belize. he holds a news conference from behind bars. you'll hear what he has to say. "cnn newsroom" starts right now.
good morning, everyone. i'm ted roland sitting in for carol costello. we bring in fallout for the radio prank calling the hospital. the nurse that was duped by the call, the bosses of those deejays have cancelled their show, and for the first time, those deejays are speaking out. >> there is nothing that can make me feel worse than what i feel right now and for what i feel for the family. we're so sorry this has happened to them. >> cnn's matthew chance is outside the hospital with the very latest. matthew? >> reporter: ted, thanks very much. you heard a snapshot of the kind of raw emotion that was expre expressed in that interview with these two deejays medical -- mel
grieg and michael christian gave, absolutely heartbroken over what happened and talking at length how they felt when it emerged that what was meant as a light hearted gag to get through to the room of duchess of cambridge here turned into something much more tragic. take a listen to what they had to say. >> unfortunately, i remember that moment very well because i haven't stopped thinking about it since it happened. >> when you found out she was the mother of two children. >> very saddened for the family. i can't imagine what they've been going through. >> what about you, michael? >> i'm gutted. shattered. heartbroken. >> reporter: the two are themselves receiving counseling for the trauma that they've undergone. a lot of the social media pages like facebook have been taken down because of abusive messages
that have been posted on them. some of them accusing the two deejays of having blood on their hands. and so a great deal of concern, obviously, but also some defense from the radio station that employs them, saying that even though it's investigating what exactly happened, it doesn't think its staff actually violated any laws and that too much emphasis has been put on the prank call and not enough emphasis on other factors that may have contributed to the apparent suicide of this nurse. >> matthew chance for us this morning in london. in washington all eyes on the fiscal cliff, now just 22 days away. with the white house and republican leaders at a stalemate, president obama is hitting the road to rally support for his plan, which would raise taxes for the wealthiest americans. he met yesterday with house speaker john boehner, their first face to face meeting in more than three weeks. today the president will visit a detroit engine factory to rally support from auto workers. the president's meeting with speaker boehner didn't yield a
big breakthrough, but the men did manage to agree on one thing, and that is that they will keep their negotiations behind closed doors. the men released this identical statement, saying this afternoon the president and speaker boehner met at the white house to discuss efforts to resolve the fiscal cliff. we're not reading out details of the conversation, but the lines of communication remain open. cnn's dan lothian is at the white house this morning. dan, i guess the fact that the lines of communication are open is a good sign. >> reporter: that's right. it is a good sign. it was just about a week ago that we were reporting about how nothing was going on, not in public and not in private. aides up on the hill, republican aides telling us there were no phone calls, no e-mails, no communication whatsoever. so this is encouraging in that the president sat down face to face with speaker boehner, but i think it's telling that both the speaker's office and white house put out these identical statements.
i mean, what it shows here is that they've agreed to negotiate in private. there's a strategy here not to make this play out in public but rather happen behind closed doors so they can hash this out, hammer this out. it's unclear whether this will continue at that level. i did communicate with a senior administration official this morning, trying to find out if there are additional meetings planned or phone calls, and this official telling me they have nothing to preview at this point. we did expect, since they did sit down and speak face to face yesterday, although we don't know all the details of that meeting, that we could expect something like that happening in the near future, ted. >> i think a lot of americans sort of have this image of not necessarily people with their sleeves rolled up actually hammering out a problem, but rather people on each side plotting against the other. did this meeting -- was it done in earnest? do you get the feeling they actually were negotiating, and do you think this is the first
of many, hopefully late meetings between the two? >> reporter: you have to believe it was done in earnest for it to take place here at the white house. we have to look back to what has happened over the last four years when this white house has been embattled with house republica republicans, and it plays out like this. initially when it starts out, there's a lot of optimism that negotiations will get resolved, there will be compromise. then they start in public really exchanging harsh rhetoric, and then a deal gets done. we've gone through the phases where initially after the president met here at the white house with congressional leaders, that they came out. they were very optimistic and then began those sort of harsh exchanges. now we're seeing -- we're hearing people talk about compromise. we're hearing senator corker of tennessee talking about how they might be warming up to this idea of upper income americans getting taxed at a higher level, not getting the tax cut
extension from the bush administration days. so you've seen them warm up to that. so there is this air in washington now that perhaps compromise will happen, and we'll be able to avoid that fiscal cliff. >> let's hope so. dan lothian for us this morning at the white house. thanks, dan. in michigan unions are bracing for what could be a crippling blow to organized labor. >> ho ho, right to work has got to go. >> michigan, of course, is home to the united auto workers. it is one of the most heavily unionized states in the country. now a lame duck session of the legislature is preparing to pass a sweeping new right to work bill that would severely undermine union power. cnn's alison kosik joins us live from lansing, michigan. alison, i know this was a surprise to some in michigan because governor rick snyder did a bit of an about face on this issue. >> reporter: and some are accusing the governor of really pushing this issue through the state house, and clearly they're not happy with it.
you can see how unhappy those opposed to this bill are, just looking at the sheer number of demonstrators who came out last week and are expected to come out this week. thousands are expected to come out between today and tomorrow. president of one teachers union who we spoke with put it this way. she said, you know what, never in a million years did i ever think that michigan would ever become a right to work state, that michigan was built on unions, and you know what, she has a point there. unions have really been the backbone for workers in this state, especially when you look at the auto industry. 17.5% of the workers in this state are unionized. it's one of the highest rates in the country. and if this law passes, ted, politically it could be a huge blow to unions, not just here in michigan, but across the country as well. also, if the law passes, it could also make unions in the private sector obsolete. so what you're essentially seeing are these union members coming out, demonstrating and protesting because they're fighting for their lives. they're fighting for survival
and rel at this point, ted. >> what's the timetable? republican governor rick snyder said he'll sign it as soon as it reaches his desk. when's the final vote xwpd? >> reporter: tomorrow around 10:00 a.m. here at the state house, the congress and senate will take up measures. the governor has already made clear he's ready to sign it. here's what he said last week. >> to be pro worker, to give freedom of choice to our workplace, and that legislators move promptly and efficiently moving it through the legislature. when it arrives on my desk, i plan on signing it. >> reporter: so he is expected to rubber stamp it, to sign it by tomorrow, ted. >> moving very quickly. alison kosik for us this morning in lansing, michigan. investigators in mexico are looking into what brought down the plane that killed popular mexican-american singer jenni rivera. ♪
>> rivera and at least five others died when their plane crashed in northern mexico on sunday. she had just finished performing before boarding the plane. rivera, a mother of five, was recently named one of the 25 most powerful people by "people espanol." the 24-year-old grammy nominee had sold 15 million records. it looks like a stomach virus is delaying an overseas trip for secretary of state hillary clinton. clinton will now leave tomorrow for morocco. she was in ireland last week. this trip will include a meeting with a group aimed at supporting vir ya's rebel opposition to the government. more than 100 same-sex couples have officially married in washington state. marriage licenses became available on thursday, but because of a three-day waiting period, the first weddings didn't take place until sunday. the couples are hoping that the supreme court will issue favorable rulings on same-sex
marriages when it hears arguments on the matter next year. and nfl team grieves on the field as the dallas cowboys play a day after learning a teammate died in a car crash. and another teammate is facing charges. sfx- "sounds of african drum and flute" look who's back. again? it's embarrassing it's embarrassing! we can see you carl. we can totally see you. come on you're better than this...all that prowling around. yeah, you're the king of the jungle. have you thought about going vegan carl? hahaha!! you know folks who save hundreds of dollars by switching to geico sure are happy. how happy are they jimmy? happier than antelope with night-vision goggles. nice! get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. alrightcharlie! photo. stop punching your brother. he asked me to! hey, sarah, stop texting, and look at your dad. i can do two things at once. ok, well just look at your dad, so he can get this shot. i'm going to be a ninja! (chaos & noise) got it. what? yeah, i got it, come here.
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checking top stories. north korea says it may take a little longer to launch a controversial long range rocket. stayed media reports pyongyang has extended its launch window to december 29th because of technical problems with an engine. the u.s. and south korea are condemning the north's second launch attempt this year. an earlier one failed in april. the u.s. and south korea say the launch is a cover for ballistic missile testing. barriers are going up outside the presidential palace in egypt as the nation moves closer to saturday's planned constitutional referendum. the palace has been the site of clashes between those for and against president mohamed morsi after he gave himself unchecked powers last month. the opposition is calling for new nationwide protests ahead of the vote. and the nobel peace prize
has been given to the european union. the three presidents of the eu's main bodies accepted the prestigious award this morning at a ceremony in oslo, norway, but this year's choice was not without controversy. three former nobel laureates wrote a letter of protest saying the union doesn't qualify as a peace maker. for the second time in two weekds, an nfl team overcomes the death of a teammate with a victory on the field. this time it was the dallas cowboys. on the sidelines sunday, the jersey of jerry brown jr. was draped over the team bench. a member of the practice squad, brown died saturday in a car crash driven by a teammate, the car was. the cowboys came back from a nine-point deficit to beat the cincinnati bengals on a dramatic last second field goal. brown's jersey was held up after the emotional win, and following the game, cowboys head coach jason garrett talked about the focus his team showed during this tragedy. >> all we asked our team last
night was to understand as best they could what happened and somehow, some way, to challenge the emotions they have into honoring jerry today in their performance, and that's a hard thing to do. i think everyone in our organization who knew him is completely numb and has been numb for the last couple days. >> ed lavandera joins us from dallas. ed, this morning brown's teammate, cowboys nose tackle josh brent is out of jail. >> reporter: he is, ted. as that team is dealing with the death of a beloved teammate, they're also struggling with the fact that one of their teammates and close friends as well is also facing some very serious legal charges as well, josh brent facing intoxication, manslaughter, but he did post a $500,000 shortly after the cowboys had won that game and left jail there in irving, texas, which is a suburb here of the dallas area. in a statement he said that he
was devastated over the accident and filled with grief for the loss of my close friend and teammate, jerry brown. he also went on to say that he was grief stricken for his family, friends, and all who were blessed enough to know him. "i will live with this horrific and tragic loss every day for the rest of my life." that is a statement that josh brent put out yesterday after leaving the jail here in the dallas/ft. worth area. not a lot of details as to what led up to that accident, but through the police affidavit report, we understand that brent and jerry brown jr. had left a club here in the dallas area, presumably on their way home. it was early saturday morning when this accident happened. it was a single car accident. no other cars were involved in this accident. and according to that police affidavit report that, when when police showed up, it was brent who was trying to pull jerry brown jr. out of the car, and police say they detected the smell of alcohol on him. because jerry brown jr. died in this car accident, that's why they did the blood alcohol test on him, and they say that alcohol was a contributing factor in this accident.
what is crazy about all of this is the team did not know about the accident and the death until they had boarded the team plane, the team charter to fly to cincinnati saturday morning, and that's when the team that was on board the plane, head coach jason garrett told everybody who wasn't a part of the team to get off of the plane, and that's when the announcement was made to everyone and told about the horrific news. >> what a tragic story. ed lavandera for us in dallas. thanks, ed. tech guru john mcafee is still fighting deportation to belize. he's speaking out from behind bars in another bizarre news conference he released on the web. up high! ok. don't you have any usefull apps on that thing? who do you think i am, quicken loans? ♪ at quicken loans, our amazingly useful mortgage calculator app allows you to quickly calculate your mortgage payment based on today's incredibly low interest rates... right from your iphone or android smartphone.
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mcafee held a news conference from behind bars on sunday and even answered some reporters' e-mail questions. >> the odyssey that samantha and i have been on did not begin after the death of mr. fall. it began on the 15th of october of this year after an aborted raid by the police of san pedro in belize city. the press has portrayed me as paranoid, schizophrenic perhaps, that the government of belize is with good intentions, merely asking me to answer questions. >> cnn's martin savidge has been chasing mcafee for portions of this odyssey from belize to guatemala city. he talked with mcafee about the possibility of his deportation back to belize. >> reporter: in the darkness outside of a guatemalan city detention center, john mcafee's dinner arrives in a paper bag.
a reminder of how far the wealthy security software vendor is from his home in belize and his lifestyle of money, guns, and girls. the spiral started last month when 52-year-old american greg fall was found shot to death in his home 200 yards from mcafee's place. the two men had a well-known feud in part over mcafee's dogs. police came to question mcafee, but he had already taken off. you are john mcafee? >> i think so, yes. i am john mcafee. >> reporter: i found him three weeks later hiding in a rundown part of belize city, convinced police would kill him if they found him, even though he had not been named a suspect. are you afraid? >> wouldn't you be, sir? >> reporter: he denied any involvement in his neighbor's death and said the belize government was trying to pin fall's murder on him because mcafee had refused to pay money
to a local politician. do you really believe this say vendetta by the government of belize to take you down and kill you? >> absolutely, sir. >> reporter: mcafee escaped to here, guatemala city. he hired himself a powerful attorney and even felt secure enough to go out in public. >> they have attempted to charge me. >> reporter: it was a mistake. guatemala wasn't the safe haven mcafee thought. authorities arrested him for entering the country illegally and planned to deport him back to belize. mcafee asked for asylum. when the government turned him down, he suddenly fell ill and was rushed to hospital. doctors diagnosed the 67-year-old as suffering from stress and returned him to detention. while his attorney says that at least for now he's been able to stop mcafee's deportation back to belize, where police are still waiting to question him. so a judge has given you a stay? >> yes, yes.
>> reporter: just what comes next in this murder turned soap opera, no one can say. mcafee's saga shares something in common with the software he created, staying current requires constant updates. >> and martin joins us now from guatemala city. martin, were you able to ask him about now? i heard now he wants to return to the u.s. >> reporter: that's right, ted, yeah. he held that very bizarre kind of news conference over the internet last night. it was the classic, you can put me in jail, but my news will break out. it shows he's still the master when it comes to self-promotion. since he had this news conference, he allowed us to e-mail questions, and i asked him that very thing. would he consider going to the u.s.? could it be another option besides being deported back to belize? that apparently is one of the great strategies that his attorney is working on, trying to negotiate with the government here in guatemala. no, don't send him back to belize, instead send him back to
where he has citizenship, which is the united states, and that's something john says he very much wants to do. ted? >> martin savidge continuing to follow the bizarre saga for us in guatemala city. martin, thank you. newt gingrich says the republican ds won't stand a chance in the presidential race in 2016 against one democratic challenger. we'll have that coming up. [ female announcer ] what if the next big thing, isn't a thing at all? it's lots of things. all waking up. connecting to the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away. we're going to wake the world up. and watch, with eyes wide, as it gets to work. cisco. tomorrow starts here.
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the opening bell at the new york stock exchange. expect cautious investors today when wall street kicks off the trading for the week. fiscal cliff talks and a reserve meeting midweek could shift the markets, bri markets,. ringing the opening bell at the exchange, the financial services company blackrock. hugo chavez returns to cuba to undergo another cancer operation. chavez left in the middle of the night just a day after telling his country the cancer was back. in is his fourth surgery since being diagnosed with cancer last year. today former south african president nelson mandela is facing a day of medical tests in the hospital. the 94-year-old has suffered health problems in recent years. the nation's current president says mandela is doing well but offered no details on his condition. mandela is a nobel laureate who fought against racial segregation.
former republican presidential candidate newt gingrich isn't sounding too optimistic about his party's chances about winning back the white house in 2016, especially if it stays in its current form. in fact, gingrich thinks it's almost impossible if one particular candidate wins the democratic nomination. take a listen. >> if their competitor in '16 is going to be hillary clinton supported by bill clinton and presumably a still relatively popular barack obama, trying to win that will be truly the super bowl, and the republican party today is incapable of competing at that level. >> let's talk about this with cnn contributors l.z. granderson and will cain. agree or disagree on gingrich's assessment? >> gingrich sounds like a detroit lions fan. he's so pessimistic heading into the super bowl. i tend to agree. i think a the lot of people i've spoken to inside the
administration as well as just kind of political wonks like us, we all think that hillary is going to run and she's going to be an incredible candidate to try to defeat. with that being said, 2016 is a long ways away. we need to get through 2014. we need to get through the fiscal cliff first. i think we're getting ahead of ourselves by saying she's unbeatable, but she's certainly formidable if she decides to run. >> point out that hillary clinton at every step says she's not running. we'll go ahead and talk about it anyway. will, do you agree with newt gingrich she would be unbeatable, at least at this point, with the republican party as is? >> i'll start by agreeing with l.z., and that is four-year based predictions are worthless. you tell me what's going to happen four years from now, go to the stock market and places where you can make real money if you have insight in the future. with that being said, hillary's formidable. she's a great candidate. but the republican party as it exists today. whoever asrunning in four years will not be herman cain and,
well, newt gingrich. it will be guys like jeb bush, paul ryan, marco rubio -- much more formidable gop candidates. i'm not ready to say, hey, let's lay down our swords and let hillary have this one. i don't think we're ready for that. >> what should the republican party be doing now or in the years to come to make sure they can compete? regardless if it's hillary clinton or somebody else. >> that's a good question, ted. honestly, the bigger issue has nothing to do with the name at the top of the ballot but what the parties stand for. the republican party's economic message, one i inherently know is better, is superior, but it's sold on abstract and theoreticalal terms, is not applying to middle class, everyday americans when aligned against policies that are designed to say, here's how i'm going to help you on x, y, and z, from auto bailouts to birth control. it's just not stacking up right now. we have to explain free market capitalism in more tangible terms to everyday americans. >> i've got to argue with my
buddy. i just have to challenge will on this. i'm not really sure if their economic policies are that superior, which partly explains why you don't hear any of the bushes' names being mentioned during the conventions. we've had 12 years of republican presidents, and they skip right to reagan when they talk about great republican presidents. i think the american people notice that. i think they notice during the clinton years we created so many jobs and during the bush years, we lost so many jobs. i think people have noticed that. and the notion that the republican party has the best policy. >> let's switch gears. fiscal cliff, republican senator bob corker, the latest republican to say, all right. go ahead and raise taxes on the top 2%. here's what he said. >> a lot of people are putting forth a theory, and i actually think it has merit, where you go ahead and give the president the 2% increase that he's talking about, the rate increase on the top 2%, and all of a sudden, the shift goes back to entitlements. >> will, why not give him the 2% and then get what you want on
the other issues that are on the table? >> well, senator corker's strategy, his analysis here has a little bit of merit. look, if we give in on the top 2%, if we just say, okay, you get your tax increases on people over $250,000. now what, democrats? now? all that entitlement you've been talking about that you're willing to look at reforming, let's look at it now. nothing's in the way of that. there's a little bit of merit to that. but it also requires you to believe that president obama and the democrats have a real interest in fulfilling that obligation, a real interest in examining entitlements, and i'm not sure that i can grant that good will. i don't know that i've seen that willingness. so there's where senator corker's analysis in my mind falls a little short. >> l.z., is that willingness gone on both sides? what's your take on what the republicans should do with the 2%? shortstop they give it in? because they would pick up, i would think, a lot of credit in that and be able to negotiate in a much better position.
no? >> i think this entire conversation, at least from the republican standpoint, is being characterized the wrong way. president obama, the democrats aren't looking to raise anyone's taxes. what they're doing is allowing the bush tax cuts to expire. in other words, allow the tax to go back to where they were when we created jobs. i think, if the republicans are able to say, look, we're willing to allow tax to go for 98% of the nation so that we can talk about entitlements, i think that characterization of the conversation will help them in terms of image because right now it doesn't look as if they care about the middle class. they need to focus in on the fact that they're allowing 98%, the majority of the bush tax cuts to be extended, and they can claim that as a victory. i think you will see a shift in the way people are viewing who's at fault in the fiscal cliff conversation, and you'll be able to have a much more positive attitude about the republicans heading into this so-called battle well hillary clinton in the future. >> l.z. granderson and will
cain, thank you, gentlemen. we appreciate it. >> thanks, ted. washington, including president obama, went gangnam style over the week epd, but not without a little controversy. or. since ameriprise financial was founded back in 1894, they've been committed to putting clients first. helping generations through tough times. good times. never taking a bailout. there when you need them. helping millions of americans over the centuries. the strength of a global financial leader. the heart of a one-to-one relationship. together for your future. ♪ [ engine revs ] ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] the mercedes-benz winter event is back, with the perfect vehicle that's just right for you,
south korean rapper psy's hot hit gangnam style shot him to fame, but his anti-u.s. remarks made a lot of people upset. he has apologized, and at least one person seems to have forgiven him. that one person is -- well, nischelle turner is live to tell us who it is. >> reporter: it's a big name, a pretty big name. it seems president obama is okay with psy, and despite the previous anti-american remarks made by the rapper, his performance at a holiday concert on sunday attended by the president went on as planned. unless you have absolutely no internet access or haven't been out of the house in a long time,
you probably heard his mega hit gangnam style, which is breaking records on youtube. a controversial performance by psy, which was shot roughly eight years ago, has spread like wildfire online. in it, the rapper calls for the death of american troops serving in iraq, not long after news of a slaying of a south korean hostage by iraqi insurgents. this ignited anti-american sentiments across south korea. psy did apologize on friday saying, while it is important to express our opinions, he does regret the inflammatory and inappropriate language he used. he continued saying, quote, i understand the sacrifices american servicemen and women have made to protect freedom and democracy in my country and around the world. >> and i understand the l.a. police department has an apology of their own? is >> reporter: yeah, and this is a pretty big apology as well. it surrounds one of the biggest w w whodunit's in the history of
music? it's who killed the notorious b.i.g.? in what the lapd calls an effort to stimulate interest, they released wallace's autopsy report last week, 15 years after his death. this did have new details in it like how big e. was shot four times and no drugs or alcohol were found in his system. however, the lapd is apologizing to the rapper's family for not notifying them prior to making this report public. they blame the early release on an administrative error. they have since spoken to the family. the lapd says this is actually one of the most challenging cases for them to solve. if you think about it, when i heard this, wow, 15 years ago, this was at the peterson here in los angeles, which is a very public place on a night where there were so many people around, and to still not figure out who did this. it really is kind of a head scratcher. >> it has inspired a lot of
egypt will go ahead with a referendum on the new constitution saturday even though president morsi backed off granting himself extraordinary powers. cnn's reza joins us from cairo. i know you sat down with one of the president's top advisers in an exclusive interview. what did he tell you about saturday's referendum? >> reporter: ted, this was the president's chief of staff, and he told us point blank that this nationwide vote on the constitution will go on as scheduled on saturday. he said delaying it is impossible. he said the opposition is kicking and screaming because they're desperate knowing they're in the minority. we also asked him why many in the opposition simply don't like the president and the muslim brotherhood. we have talked to a lot of these protesters and many say they
just don't trust president morsi, and you sense they don't like the muslim brotherhood. sometimes you sense hatred. how do you address that? >> these people have a political view that has to be respected, and if we do not manage to come to terms, let us go to the people. >> let me tell you another thing that i hear often, and it's a pretty harsh criticism. the opposition believes the brotherhood and the islamists manipulate their supporters through fear of god and religion, supporters that are illiteral and uneducated. >> i totally disagree with this. because it's part of the disease of the elite. >> reporter: does the brotherhood use the fear of god and religion to convince supporters to go out and vote? >> no. >> reporter: do you believe -- >> no. >> reporter: -- you're the party of god, the party representing god? >> nobody represents god.
we are not the community of muslims. we are part of the community of muslims. >> reporter: the president's chief of staff says they're going to go after all the voters on saturday -- muslims, christians, all egyptians. the opposition still trying to derail this process, ted, with more mass demonstrations scheduled tomorrow. >> the world will be watching. reza sayah, thank you from cairo today. many people in minnesota are digging out from the heaviest snowfall since 2011. tell you which other states are also getting a wintry blast. stay with us.
oh, let me guess --ou see this? more washington gridlock. no, it's worse -- look, our taxes are about to go up. not the taxes on our dividends though, right? that's a big part of our retirement. oh, no, it's dividends, too. the rate on our dividends would more than double. but we depend on our dividends to help pay our bills. we worked hard to save. well, the president and congress have got to work together to stop this dividend tax hike. before it's too late.
>> you talked about minneapolis and the star tribune there says winter back. welcome, winter back. it's been a poultry few years there and this is their livelihood. so, a big snowfall, the biggest in two years in places like minneapolis. entire season last year, only 22 inches. their biggest last season, only 4 inches of snow. 14 inches. this is 14 miles east of minneapolis. maplewood. so, twin cities picking up about 10.5 inches of snow, so certainly good news for them, but in the big picture, this is incredibly dynamic. here's the radar. there's minneapolis. all the rain from the snow that pushed eastward. it's now just rain. the arctic air was in place in minneapolis. right now, it feels like 3 and it's 13 degrees. arctic air still there. not here in the northeast. new york, 40 degrees, no snow with that. but the only snow we'll see here
is in northern maine. about 8 to 10 inches. through the hudson valley, very warm temperatures. new york, washington, flirting with record highs today, so record snow to the northwest, record highs in the south and east and also, very dynamic here. potentially, we have a tornado watch. these are posteded, meaning the atmosphere right for developing. we have tornado warnings and one posted for another 30 minutes or so. we have had cells that have rotation detected, but look at all this. incre incredibly stormy there this morning, all pushing eastward. there's the tornado warnings. the tornado heading north and east. moving northeast 40 miles per hour. hattiesburg, heads-up to you. so the storm and record warmth. new york city, flirting with records. washington, 60 and pensacola to west palm beach, cold front will
move through and drop temperatures 20 degrees tomorrow. >> all right. bundle up. thanks. >> sure. well, in one corner, the man who lost the presidential election and the other, the man who got knocked out this weekend. the behind the scenes fight night meeting between mitt romney and manny pacquiao. that's next. stay with us. santa! want to see some magic? watch this! merry chr... (crash) ow! i landed on my keys. did you get that? oh yeah. that was amazing. here you go. that was a fun trick! see? santa's okay. walk it off santa. share videos instantly with s-beam. on the galaxy siii and note ii. for a limited time get two flip covers for the price of one. exclusively at verizon.
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building blocks for the heart of your portfolio. find out why 9 out of 10 large professional investors choose ishares for their etfs. ishares by blackrock. call 1-800-ishares for a prospectus which includes investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. read and consider it carefully before investing. risk includes possible loss of principal. for the washington redskins, rookie quarterbacks are worth their weight in gold. one goes down, no problem. another comes in to win the game. wow, rg3 goes down and collectively, the fans, oh, no, it's over, but they end up winning. >> right, if you're a fan of rg3 and football in general, this is really very frightening. he had a concussion earlier this year against the ravens late in the game. he's trying to scramble and make
a play and he does, picking up a first down, but toward the end of this play, just drills him right there and it looked really bad at first, but an mri showed there was no ligament damage, no torn acl. in this game, kirk cousins comes off the bench, generating a late touchdown, runs for a two-point conversion and the redskins win in overtime, so their playoff chances very much alive in the afc east. good news. rg3 is okay. >> let's talk college football. heisman goes to johnny football, johnny manziel. first freshman ever. >> it's really historic. he has the catchiest nickname. johnny football. he goes into the sec with texas a&m in year and sets an offense record. heisman voters historically have not given the vote to freshman players. it's interesting, ted. to me, the bigger picture is this. tao of notre dame is second in the balloting, linebacker.
will a defensive player ever win the heisman? >> either way, it would have been historic. freshman or first defensive player. >> right, is it for the mvp on offense in college football? >> if he doesn't win, who does? >> yeah, but he's exciting and only freshman and congratulations to johnny manziel. >> let's talk manny pacquiao found himself in unfamiliar territory on the mat in las vegas. an incredible fight. knocked out by mar qwest. with him as ring side though, another guy who knows about getting knocked out. >> yeah, he lost the biggest fight of his life in november. mitt romney was tr with his wife before the fight. before the fight, wished pacquiao well. after a furious fifth round, manuel was knocked down. it was kind of funny. according to reports, romney went up to pacquiao and said hello, manny, i ran for
president, i lost. i don't think romney's loss left a mark. this one might for pacquiao who had a broken nose. loses his second straight fight. many are wondering if this is the end or if there's a rematch offering a fifth possible fight. >> so much build up to this one that this would answer all the questions, but why not? do it again. >> go to bleacher report for all of these stories and more. it's your place for sports, 24/7. >> vince, thank you, sir. and next hour begins right and next hour begins right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com stories we're watching right now off the air and under siege. two radio deejays speak out for the first time on the royal prank phone call that's now being blamed for a nurse's suicide. amid the outrage, new legal questions. president obama hits the road as the nation inches closer
to the fiscal cliff. with talks down in washington, he heads to detroit to rally middle class support for his plan. plus, this. ♪ a plane crash cuts short the life of popular mexican american singer, jenni rivera and he might be the oldest college football on the field, but this texas long horn is now the most inspirational. "newsroom" starts right now. good morning. i'm ted rowlands. we begin this hour with a new fallout from that radio prank played on the hospital caring for prince william's pregnant wife. just days after the apparent suicide of the nurse who was dupeded by the call, the bosses of those deejays have canceled
their show and for the first time, they're speaking out. >> shattered. heartbroken and obviously, you know, our deepest sympathies are with the family and the friends. of all those affected. and you know, obviously, we are incredibly sorry for the situation an what's happened. and you know, we have to think are they doing okay, getting the love and support they need right now? personally, i'm -- >> the tragic hoax is raising some serious legal questions in australia where the call was made and london, where it was received. and police in the two countries are investigating. avery friedman is a civil rights attorney and law professor. he joins us now from cleveland.
a avery, we're talking about two countries. two separate sets of laws. who takes the lead in something like this? >> well, the alleged crime of course occurred in aus trtralia but the fact is that the law that officials are looking at right now, ted, is the a law that deals with basically those people engaged in stalking. intentional harassment and coercion. it's not a law, in fact, this is a case, ted, that will never resolve in criminal charges. i think the tougher question is will there be civil liability arising out of the case. >> and what's the clanhances of that? did you say there's no criminal case here. i would think. from layman's term because these radio stations across the world do this on a daily base and nobody could have forseen the tragedy here, but civilly, what would it take for a successful civil suit? really, the facts of this are the same whether you're talking criminal or civil. there was no intent of this end
happening, obviously, by these two individuals or the radio station. >> right. well, actually, you said the word, the civil liability. and that is whether or not the prank call was forseeable, that is the consequence of the call was foreseeable in a suicide and based on general law, i mean, i'm no expert in australian law by any means, but as a general law when it comes to civil liability, ted, what will aply is forseeablety. in other words, would a reasonable person expect to see a suicide from a prank call? not only is there not criminal liability, but it is unlikely that we're going to see any civil liability arising out of this. trangic, tragic, no doubt, i think civil or control will prevail in a case like this.
>> anything in the u.s. or the world that has been litigated on a civil side? because one thing that has predictable i guess is that the butt end of the jokes that are being played, that person could suffer something. either harassment, x, y or z. has there been any successful lawsuits going against any of these lawsuits, maybe not in australia or england, but in the books somewhere in the world? >> well, there very well may be. as americans, we're used to free speech. many countries, most countries, don't have the kind of depth when it comes to free speech that we do, so while there may be precedent in other countries, it's unlikely that you're going to see precedent coming out of a place like australia. clearly, there have been liability standards much more strict than ours in terms of establishing liability in
england, but from the standpoint of an american principles, it's unlikely we're going to see civil or criminal liabilities. >> all right, avery friedman, thank you. in washington, all eyes are on -- just 22 days away with the white house and republican leaders at a stalemate. president obama is hitting the road to rally support for his plan, which would raise taxes for the wealthiest americans. he met with john boehner yesterday. their first face to face meeting in more than three weeks. today, the president will visit a detroit engine factory. the president's meeting with john boehner did not yield a breakthrough, but the men did agree on one thing. they'll keep their negotiations behind closed doors. they released a statement saying this. this afternoon, the president and speaker boehner met at the white house to discuss efforts to resolve the fiscal cliff. we are not reading out the details of the conversation, but
the lines of communication remain open. dan lothian is at the white house. how telling is it that the statements were identical from both the president and speaker boehner? >> it shows that both sides agree on something and that is that they're not going to continue to have this debate play out in front of the cameras, harsh rhetoric going back and forth. but instead, will do it in private and i think that's very telling. certainly, we don't know what happened in that meeting because neither side getting any details. perhaps they did have a breakthrough and they're just sort of filling in some of the little dots and so forth, to you know, formally present it. we don't know that. we don't know about the tone of the meeting and they're not telling us. in fact, one official telling me don't expect to hear that information come out. and so,s that's the strategy and that is seen as positive because as we know about a week ago, they were not communicating face
to face. and in fact, staff members behind the scenes weren't even communicating either by phone or e-mail, so some view this as a very significant step. we're waiting to find out if there will be additional meetings and phone calls. >> the way these things typically play out historically is that lawmakers push it to the very end and then come up with a mir rack las deal and then pat themselves on the back, oh, look at the great job we did. anything here that makes you think that won't happen? will they allow us to go over the fiscal cliff or do you think that judging from your seeing what this meeting behind closed doors now and as time comes down to the end that they will come up with a deal at the 11th hour? >> well, look, there's always that possibility that you know, they could go over the fiscal cliff, but you're right in pointing out that this is how it usually plays out is that everyone voicing optimism at the start. then there's a lot of rhetoric
that's thrown around. both sides getting sort of dug in positions and then you start to get sort of this air of compromise. what we're sensing now is that there does appear to be this willingness on both sides to compromise. you hear democrats talking about entitlements, willing to back down on entitlements, and then some republicans talking about you know, some kind of increase in taxes for wealthy americans and so, that really is a starting point where both sides have been digging in now for weeks and the hope is that this, there could be some real movement this week. get this wrapped up before the fiscal cliff scenario plays out. >> all right, dan lothian for us at the white house. thank you. in as little as 24 hours from now, michigan lawmakers are expected to pass sweeping legislation that could cripple the state's labor movement. it's all happens very fast in a lame duck legislature that has labor union leaders and union
members in an uproar that will likely manifest in huge demonstrations and when it does, our alison kosik will be right in the middle of it. she is in lansing this morning with more. >> ted, all is quiet right now at the michigan state capital, but police are putting up barricades, getting ready for an influx of demonstrators expected to come tomorrow because tomorrow is when the house and the senate are going to hammer out the final version of this bill that looks essentially to not force workers anymore to join unions, to pay union dues, so tomorrow after the house and senate are expected to get that final bill together, they are expected to hand it over to governor rick snyder. he is expected to put his is signature on it. i talked to one opponent to it and he said there is still time to stop this bill passed. >> if enough people stand up and
voice their opinion in this matter, then they'll pay attention. you know, the one that, the one they need to pay attention to is the one that shows up in large numbers and you know, a lot of these people probably are not going to realize this until they realize that maybe they're not going to get re-elected. >> but this may really be a done deal at this point. with republican controlled legislature. >> are they upset by what's in legislature or the way it's pushed through or both? >> a little of both. they're not happy with the way legislature has been pushed through. the governor in the past has said this right to work bill is devicive and then turns around and accord tog opponents, they say he's pushed this bill through sort of in an underhanded fashion and then of course, you've got the unions saying this is not a good bill.
this is not a good law for michigan. 17.5% of the people who work in this state are union workers. there's a big concern that if the law goes into effect, that wages could go down and jobs could go away. ted? >> all right, alison kosik for us in lansing. we have much more ahead on this issue. at the bottom of the hour, we'll speak with a member of the michigan corrections organization. a republican who opposes the legislature and we'll talk to a member of the mcinaw center for public policy. the voice of a popular mexican american singer is silenced after a plane crashes killing her and everyone on board. we'll have more on jenni rivera's life and her music that made her a fan favorite. [ male announcer ] when it comes to the financial obstacles
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but still early. north korea says it may take a little longer to launch a controversial long range rocket. pyongyang has extended its launch window until december 29th because of technical problems with an engine. an earlier one failed in april. the u.s. and south korea said the launch is a cover for ballistic missile testing. the nobel peace prize has been given to the european union. the three presidents of the e.u's main bodies accepted the prestigious award this morning in oslo, norway. three formers wrote a letter of protest saying the union doesn't qualify as a peacemaker. some called her the diana ross of mexican music. people are mourning the loss of jenni rivera. a 43-year-old singer and reality
star died in a plane crash over the weekend along with everyone else on board. men who gave rivera her big break reflects on what her music meant to her fans. >> in mexico, she represents a lot of ladies that, they cannot talk loud. they cannot say their feelings, so the public feel represented by jenni rivera, but the letters, the lyrics of the songs. >> our senior latin american affairs editor, rafael romo, is here and rafael, tell us more about what her music meant to her fans and this was an extraordinary person. >> she had a very powerful voice, first of all, and i think her fans will remember her for empowering women. as our guest was saying just a few moments ago, but i think people will remember her for her ability to connect.
she was as popular with mexican americans here in the united states, just as popular as she was in mexico. they called her dina and for anyone who called her on stage, it was easy to see why. she sang heart wrenching ballads that spoke to the common woman, especially mexican americans. >> translator: every song, every lyric, i'm thinking of them and how i can relate to them with my music. >> she was born in long beach, california. in an interview with cnn in 2010, she spoke about how she sold music records at a los angeles flee market and how her family sold cans. >> translator: it is very flattering when they tell me i'm a great artist, entertainer. when i'm on stage, i can
entertain. but before that, i was a businesswoman. i'm primarily business minded. >> she sold 15 million records and won two billboard music awards in a career that spans just over a decade, but she was also a successful businesswoman. she started several of her own companies, one in which she produced her own music, a fragrance and jeans company. in october, "people" named her on the list of the 25 most powerful hispanic women. her image was also battered by scandal. a mother of five, she married three times, but the relationships were rocky and caused her much ainge wish and embarrass m. >> staying defeated, crying and suffering was not an option. i had to get back on my feet and press on. that's what i want to teach my daughters. >> during her last interview
saturday night, she told mexican media to get emotionally well. asked about her christmas plans, she said -- i want to be with my family. but god only knows what's going to happen. >> and more recently, she made headlines in october when she announced her marriage to pitcher esteban w irisa was com to an end. >> tragic story. just horrible. all right. thanks. michigan is on the cusp of becoming the latest right to work state in the country. just ahead, we'll hear from both sides in this watershed moment in the birthplace of the united auto workers. stay with us.
♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] everyone deserves the gift of all day pain relief. this season, discover aleve. all day pain relief with just two pills. about 40 minutes from now, president obama heads to detroit where he'll be touting the fiscal cliff at a diesel truck engine plant. detroit news reports the plant is owned by don lehr ag and they're expected to announce $100 million in new investments as it tries to expand. large trucks as you know, run on
diesel fuel, but now, there is talk about replacing it with cleaner burning liquid gas. many believe it is the next b biggest thing in long haul trucking, but there are still major bumps in the road. >> reporter: diesel is king here at the flying j truck stop near richmond, virginia. with it, daniel keating has pushed his rig 3.5 million miles. >> name it, i've hauled it. >> reporter: but truckers here don't have to look far to see the future. alone in a corner sets a new liquefied natural gas island. lng as it's called, is cheaper, cleaner and supporters say more plentiful than diesel. but there's a problem. say you want to drive a truck like this coast to coast using only liquid natural gas.
these are the only open and public lng fuelling stops across the country and there are only 30 of them. a tank of lng would take you about 700 miles, so going westward from washington, d.c., unless you go completely out of your way, you'd run out of gas just outside nashville. it's what the industry calls the chicken and egg dlim ma. what comes first? new trucks or pumps? the trucking association recently held a summit about just that. >> it's going to happen. i promise you it's going to happen. >> reporter: t. boone pickens says henry ford faced the same problem. >> if somebody said at that point, henry, have you thought about it, you don't have any filling stations. he said, oh, gosh, i'll forget this idea. that's not what he said. don't worry about it. you'll get filling stations. if the car shows up, filling stations will come. >> reporter: but strong, the
number of stops will skyrocket to about 750, but when they'll open is uncertain. you'd think environmentalists would be thrilled of the prospect, not quite. >> we think a rush to liquefy natural gas is a mistake. >> reporter: while natural gas may burn cleaner, problems arise when the gas leaks. >> the leakage of that gas itself is such a potent greenhouse gas, 70 times more potent than carbon dioxide, that undermines the greenhouse gas advantage. >> reporter: bottom line, the industry says lng is cheaper than diesel fuel. >> but i think it will work in the end. >> just a matter of time? president obama went gangnam style over the weekend, but not without a little controversy involving this south korean rapper. stay with us.
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checking our top stories, another day, another bizarre twist in the case of american tech mogul, john mcafee. after weeks of living in hiding, he spoke to reporters from an immigration detention center in guatemala city. he's fighting deportation to belize where authorities want to question about him the death of a neighbor. mcafee says he now wants to return to the u.s. hugo chavez returns to cuba to undergo another cancer operation. he left in the middle of the night just a day after telling his country his cancer had returned. this will be his fourth surgery since being diagnosed with cancer last year. and more than 100 same-sex couples have officially married in washington state. marriage licenses became available thursday, but because
of a three-day waiting period, the first weddings didn't take place until sunday. couples there are hoping the supreme court will issue favorable rulings when it hears the arguments on the matter next year. tomorrow morning, michigan lawmakers are expected to pass sweeping right to work legislation that will aplow people to opt out of joining unions or pay union dues. joining us now from lansing is andy potter, vice president of michigan's corrections organization. thanks for joining us. although you're a republican, you're not up in favor of what is happening in your state. why? >> i am not in favor of it. i think it's a way to weaken the unions. weaken the representation that the workers are going to receive and it's a way to do certain things where we won't be able to hold anyone accountable in the state for what happens.
>> now, you say you are a republican. republicans typically are anti labor, antilabor unions for a number reasons. unions bring out the vote for their democratic opponents. how do you marry the fact that you are republican, yet pro union? >> well, i'm pro labor and i am a republican. i voted for republicans my whole life. we look at the candidates that best represent the labor issues and we support them. we support different candidates. doesn't always have to be a democrat that we support. we support republicans as well. >> this seems to be a done deal. is there anything you think you can do to stop this from happening? >> all we can do is make a plea to the governor not to sign this legislation if it gets to his desk and make it well-known around the nation that this,
these so-called bills that are for the rights of the employee are nothing but a sham. it's a smoke and mirror attempt to take away the representation that these members in these horde working class citizens are going to receive. so we want to get that message out, he was for a long time touting how it's come placative. they have turned their talking points around. now, he's changed his position and we're just asking him not to sign the legislation. >> were you shocked that indeed he did change his mind because of course there was a ballot initiative on the ballot in michigan that would have made collective bargaining a right and he sort of said in his opposition to that that we don't need to get into that and i'm not going to push any sort of right to work laws down in the future and right after the
election, he's done an about face. was that angering for you and others? >> it was extreme lly surprisin to me and other fellow republicans to find him switch his position, so quickly. we feel that it's being backed by very rich ceos and we feel that it's disengenerjegeneralo . it is devicive using his words and we all feel a lot of republicans i can speak for that talk to me feel that this is a just an attempt to weaken the labor force and we're completely gens it. >> all right. andy potter, thank you. after the break, we'll get the other side. he'll tell us why he thinks right to work is a good thing for michigan. stay with us. .
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we have been discussing a sea change that could alter the face of organized labor in michigan. this time tomorrow, legislation is expected to be approved that might allow workers to avoid union membership in unionized shops. vinnie is joining us, liking to go by vince. you're from the mackinac center for public policy and this really caught a lot of the people by surprise. although this had been talked about for years in michigan, the governor intimated this was something he was pushing and now, people think he did an about face. in your standpoint in michigan, someone who is for this, do you think the governor wus was forthright with voters there? >> actually, the governor through his tenure has said if rights came to his desk, he
would sign it. honestly, i think it was a big reaction to what happened in indiana where that state gave workers the freedom to choose. earlier this year and michigan said hey, right to work states have bigger population growth. they have larger wage dwrout growth. they're more attractive for business. they treat workers better and we have to respond because we want those job creators here in michigan. >> do they treat workers better? hasn't it been shown that wages do go down? >> no. actually, there is more wage growth in right to work states than there is in a non right to work state. in fact, if you factor in cost of living, workers are actually making more and have more disposable income in right to work states than in their non right to work states counterparts. >> how much of this is political because clearly, republicans would love it if every union were evaporated tomorrow. union bring voters to democratic
candidates. how much of this is political? >> well, right to work simply gives workers the freedom to choose whether or not the pay a union. >> right, but it destabilizes unions. it has the potential of destabilizing unions. >> it actually makes unions more accountable and more respontive because now the unions can't take them for granted. it doesn't affect collective bargaining in any other way except for taking away the union's ability for not firing them. they can still bargain over wages, hours and working conditions. >> do you think there's going to be a challenge if the governor signs this. apparently, he's going to sign it. do you foresee a legal challenge here? >> i think big labor is going to throw the kitchen sink at this bill. they're going to try legal changes. probably also to get this on the ballot in two years, so we're going to have a two-year
conversation in michigan about whether freedom of choice is right for workers in michigan and look forward to november 2014 because that's when this is going to be back. >> all right. we will see how it all plays out in michigan. thank you, sir. appreciate it and we will be right back. >> ted, thanks for having me on. anncr: some politicians seem to think medicare and... social security are just numbers in a budget. well, we worked hard for those benefits. we earned them. and if washington tries to cram decisions about the future...
and a reality show called buck wild based west virginia and the state's governor is not too happy about it. good morning, michelle. >> hey, good morning, ted. yeah, this show, buck wild, it's drawing the eyre of a lot of people. joe mansion, a democrat from west virginia, he's one of them. he says this show plays into ugly stereotypes of his state
and he's asking mtv to cancel this series. this seems to be to fill the void of jersey shore, but this show follows a group of west virginians who throw dump truck pool parties and build human slingshots. fun. now, senator mansion was on the "today" show this morning sounding off about "buck wild." >> the only thing i would ask the producers and backers of this show, is this the way you want your town and state, is this how you'd want your children to act? i would hope someone had a shred of decency saying listen, we're fighting to fix this country to turn it over to the next generation. west virginians, we've got some of the greatest young adults who've accomplished an awful lot. why can't they show balance? >> good point. mtv is not commenting on the
request for cancellation. i like that. basically, "buck wild" debuts next month and if you've seen the trailers, it's interesting, let's just leave it at that. >> all right. thank you. for more entertainment headlines, watch "showbiz tonight," 11:00 eastern on hln. well, just 22 days, that's all the time lawmakers have left to reach a deal on the fiscal cliff or else automatic spending cuts and tax hikes will kick in and with the fiscal cliff looming, our consumers feeling at all concerned? christine romans joins us now from new york with that. good morning, christine. >> good morning, ted. first, let me tell you what's going right in the economy for consumers. there's a whole host of things. the job markets, 7.7% unemployment, the lowest in four years. you've got the housing market showing signs of recovery. rising home values in much of the country. gas prices, did you notice? they're down 46 cents over the past couple of months. they're expected to keep going
lower and the dow is up 20 points now. the dow is above 1,300 and the s&p 500 is up 12% this year. so, what could go wrong? fiscal cliff. this is something weighing op consumer sentiment and we're starting to see it in the weekly -- look at this -- 39% said it would affect it some. they don't seem to have much faith in congress to fix it and any time except 11th hour and maybe a week into the new year and there's this payroll tax holiday that most people have been enjoying now for well over a year. almost two years now. it's about 20 for somebody who
earns say $50,000, but they're getting extra because the payroll tax deduction has been changed a little. they're getting a break on that. but that goes away, people are going to have less money in their paycheck. i've been hearing from dwsh stating that theory re tayloi t they're concerned. a lot of people buy their holiday presents based on taxes and no one is really certain what is going on. >> yeah, absolutely. all right. christine romans for us this morning in new york. thank you, christine. well, he is college football's most inspirational figure and his story is much different than most young men who battle on the gridiron. we'll have it coming up. and we can save you 10% on ground shipping over the ups store. look this isn't my first christmas.
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checking top stories, it looks like a stomach virus is delaying an overseas trip for secretary of state hillary clinton. clinton will now leave tomorrow for mo . in south africa, nelson mandela is facing a third day of medical tests in the hospital. the 94-year-old has suffered health problems in the recent years. the nation's health president says he is doing well, but offered no details. the nobel peace prize goes to the european union. the three president accepted the award this morning in oslo, norway. this year's choice has not been without controversy. three wrote a letter of protest saying the union doesn't qualify
as a peacemaker. while you don't hear about my 31-year-old college football players, but then again, most college athletes don't have an impressive military career either. that is part of what makes nate boyer so incredible. the long snapper at the university of texas carries the american flag before every home game. he is a six-year veteran of the army serving in the green bar b earning a star. now, this sophomore walk on has been named college football's most inspirational figure. not bad for a guy that never played football before college. nate boyer joins us now from austin, texas, live. first of all, nate, congratulations on the award. well deserved. pleasure to talk to you. what was your motivation to start playing football at your tender young age of 33?
>> well, it was something that i always wanted to do growing up. i played a lot of other sports as a kid and i just never got a chance to play football and i really wanted to do it and then while i was serving, i was on a rotation overseas and you know, i knew my enlistment was coming up and i knew i wanted to go back to school, so i thought why not try to fulfill that dream, so i just started working towards that and it worked out. >> you joined the military when you were 20 years old following the september 11th attacks. i guess your nicknames include army and america? >> among others. >> what is it like to be playing football with these kids? i mean, let's face it. some of your teammates are 18 years old who really don't have a care in the world and for a
guy with your background and inherent maturity, is it difficult to click with your teammates? >> first of all, i don't know how mature i really am, but i don't know. i think once you reach about 19, you mature in some ways, but i think a lot of you stays young at heart and i don't have a problem clicking at all. i mean, those guys, they took me right in. i'm very fortunate to have such great teammates. i think at a school like ut with with the football program being the way it is that they're able to recruit you know, whoever they want, really, and they take into account you know, guys personalities and you know, the type of people there are in the community as well as being great athletes. there's pretty mature kids for the age they are. i hang out with them. i live with them and i don't feel that much of an age difference, honestly. >> your story is inspirational on a lot of levels. one is the fact that you are a
vet that has come back and really embraced the time following your service. going back to college, excelling. what's your message to other vets who may be having trouble assimilating after they have done their service and have come back? >> i mean, there's just, there's so many opportunities out there for veterans. you know, you just got to look into them and seek them out. i was real fortunate. i hadn't, you know, i didn't sustain any big injuries and you know, i don't have ptsd and stuff like that, so there's a lot of guys that have a tougher go than i have. i've been really lucky. but you know, with this being said, still, there's so many programs and opportunities out there. our country really supports its military for the most part and you know, i love that. it's a great thing. and so, you know, everything's out there. and you know, with what you know, we've been able to accomplish and if you've gone
overseas and you understand that when you have difficulty, you know from your experience what it takes to get you know, a job done. obstacles kind of fall to the wayside and don't seem as difficult after going through something like that. you have that in your back pocket and you've just got to take advantage of it and go for it. can't be worried about making mistakes or -- >> right. >> failing. i've failed millions of times. i'm going to keep failing. >> you didn't fail this time. voted most inspirational and well deserving. nate boyer, congratulations around enjoy the rest of your sophomore year in college. >> i will. >> we appreciate it. thanks, nate. we will be right back. stay with us.
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